In a ceremony infused with themes of peace and harmony, South Korean President Moon Jae-in twice shook hands with Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. US Vice President Mike Pence, sitting a few seats away in the same VIP booth, looked stony faced as the extraordinary scenes unfolded.
The unprecedented encounter between the two senior Koreans fueled hopes that the Olympics could succeed where a generation of world leaders has failed -- to lay the groundwork, however tentatively, to a process of reconciliation on a peninsula that often appears one wrong move away from nuclear conflict.
Minutes into the ceremony, as children skipped through a mythical landscape, Moon greeted Kim Yo Jong and North Korea's 90-year-old ceremonial head of state Kim Yong Nam, the head of the North's Olympic delegation.
Kim Yo Jong, the first member of the North's ruling dynasty to visit the south since the end of the Korean War in 1953, smiled broadly as they shook hands.
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